Is Messi the Ballon d’Or winner anyway…Kim Min-jae challenges Asia’s top ranking

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‘Is Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) going to win the Ballon d’Or anyway?

Messi is the odds-on favorite to win the Ballon d’Or this year, but some say the lid should be lifted. There could be a surprise nominee, such as ‘monster goalie’ Elling Holland (Manchester City-Norway), who could be announced as the winner.

France Football, the French soccer publication that organizes the Ballon d’Or, will announce the winner of this year’s Ballon d’Or on March 31. The Ballon d’Or is a prestigious global award that recognizes the best soccer player of the year.

Along with Messi and Holland, the 30 previously announced candidates include Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid-France), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich-England), and Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona-Poland), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain-France), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid-Brazil), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid-England), and Luka Modric (Real Madrid-Croatia). Only three defenders were nominated, and one of them is international defender Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich).

Cristiano Ronaldo (Alnasr-Portugal), who plays in the Saudi Arabian league, was left off the list of 30 nominees. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s days are numbered.

The question now is whether Messi will win the award. If Messi wins the Ballon d’Or again, it will be his eighth. Messi won his first Ballon d’Or in 2009 and then won it four years in a row. He lost the Ballon d’Or to Ronaldo in 2013 and 2014, but won it back in 2015 after a three-year hiatus. He also won the Ballon d’Or in 2019 and 2021, making him the most decorated player of all time (seven).

Messi, who moved to American professional soccer’s Major League Soccer (MLS) Inter Miami this year, is the favorite to win the award after leading Argentina to the World Cup title in Qatar last year. Messi scored seven goals at the tournament and won the Golden Ball, which is awarded to the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Holland, who scored 36 goals in the English Premier League (EPL) last season, is still in the running for the award.

Also of interest is the final ranking of Kim Min-jae, the first Asian defender ever to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or. The current highest ranking 바카라사이트 for an Asian player is 11th, set by Son Heung-min in 2022. Kim played for Napoli last season and helped them win the Serie A title. This year’s Ballon d’Or evaluation runs from August last year to July this year.

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